Sunday October 20

Thanks to those who came last Sunday. I enjoyed the session and found it really useful. I think I am beginning to get a handle on “showing and telling” at last. 
For this coming Sunday, I thought we could have a look at description
Here are a few links. 
On describing characters:
On describing settings:
On description generally:

On not describing at all:

For the exercise, take a couple of pictures from a magazine or newspaper, one perhaps of a person or people and the other of a landscape, a room, or another setting, and try describing them. Bring those descriptions along, with the pictures, and then we can all see if we can visualise from what you have written and compare it with the original picture to see how close you got. 
I think this could be useful. 

Sunday September 29

For the group on Sunday 29th, we’re going to have a look at the perennial topic of “showing and telling”. Remember, you need both, but they do different jobs.

If you don’t always grasp the difference, here are some useful links I found:

Anyway, our exercise for next week is to write a little scene or story in two versions, one predominantly “telling” and the other “showing”. 

Good luck. 

PS. The Stroud Short Story Competition for November closes at one minute to midnight on Sunday 29 September, so if you have anything, go for it. 

Sunday September 22

For our group on Sunday 22nd September, I thought we could try an exercise that comes from the FutureLearn course in Creative Writing that some of you may seen

You have to write a piece about yourself, a relative, a friend, a historical figure or some subject you are interested in and it has to contain one falsehood and three truths. Then you write another that contains three falsehoods and one truth. 

The pieces only have to be up to 150 words each. We read them out and then everyone tries to guess the truths and the lies. I think the idea is to show how you can write imaginary material in such a way that it sounds real. Why not give it a go?

Sunday September 15

Next Sunday we’re going to have a look at characterisation and character. 
As Tony rightly said, ‘characterisation’ is all the stuff about your character’s favourite colour and the books he likes to read. ‘Character’ is about what he does in a crisis. 
There are loads of questionnaires online to help you with characterisation. I have chosen this one because it doesn’t expect you to work through a huge list. Instead you choose the most important ones. 
Do that for a character, and then write a short scene in which the character shows how he/she reacts in practice. 
Here’s the link:
Hope to see some of you on Sunday. 

Sunday September 1

This coming Sunday we are going to try something different. I’d like you to write a short story or scene using two different types of narration: choose from First Person, Third Person or Omniscient. Keep the total length down to about 800 words.

If you’d like a prompt to get you going, you can try this, which I found on the internet: “Hearing her daughter laugh was a rarity these days. She smiled, savouring the moment.”

If the terms are unfamiliar to you, there is a good Wikipedia entry:

Sunday August 11

Let’s think about imagery this coming Sunday. By that I mean metaphors, similes, analogies and so on. Try and bring along a story (no more than about 750 words) with one or more images at its heart. Look forward to seeing you.

Meanwhile, Rod has sent me a link to the Hour of Writes competition that he mentioned. It is It is a weekly, peer-reviewed competition that looks like fun.